Collaboration with EnVi Media Exposes Mental Health Resources
What do you get when you mix Black Girls Smile Inc. with EnVi Media Group, a pop culture multimedia platform, and some GIRL POWER?
You get “Building Community in the Virtual World.”
Black Girls Smile and EnVi Media embarked on a months-long collaboration to encourage the positive use of social media interactions for young minority women and girls. This partnership birthed a 14-page comic-book-style resource that helps youth navigate the challenges of building community in virtual spaces.
EnVi Media worked with Black Girls Smile facilitators Trishna Monplasir, LMSW, of the Release Program and Rebecca Anuru, LMSW, MPH, of Dream Keep Consulting to create the written content of the project to ensure the message was relevant and accurate. In addition, EnVi Media used its graphic design team's expertise to bring the words to life in a fun and engaging way.
Recent news has emphasized the adverse effects social media has on youth that use it excessively. In contrast, social media usage can be a positive resource for educating and building emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual connections. Therefore, no one should fear engaging on the internet if they prioritize their physical and psychological well-being.
“We all owe it to ourselves and our loved ones to be well-informed and open to mental wellness so that we can help ourselves or someone else ensure that they smile fully and deeply,” Lauren Carson, executive director of Black Girls Smile Inc.
The comic book provides tips on handling crucial subjects that negatively affect youth on social media, like, racial tropes, stereotypes, cyberbullying, and doxxing. In addition, it guides users through recognizing the signs and triggers and when it is necessary to "mute", "unfollow", or engage with more positive content that prioritizes mental health.
“There is no denying that we live in a world deeply tied to technology. That is not going away, so we should embrace the tools, tips, and tricks for creating a healthy community in a virtual world while ensuring we are still grounded and safe in the present. There is a healthy way to do both, and this comic strip provides support in figuring out how to make the most of our virtual tools,” Paige Black, associate director of Black Girls Smile Inc.
The characters in this book are not your stereotypical superHERoes as seen in typical comic book history.
“It was important that Black women and girls’ representation and inclusivity were felt throughout the project's visuals. There are images with various skin tones, body types, and hair textures. It’s important that all Black women and girls feel seen in this project,” explained Monique S. Fontenot, media relations manager of Black Girls Smile Inc.
The comic book is released in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month and in anticipation of Black Girls Smile’s Mental Health Day of Action held on May 19, 2022, sponsored by MTV Entertainment Group.
If you want to sponsor or partner on a project with Black Girls Smile email at firstname.lastname@example.org.